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TOP STORY

Fire exit sign caused school fireSubmitted: 11/21/2014
PRENTICE - Administrators now know what caused a fire in the Prentice School art room, and it's ironic.

A sign that guides people to an exit in case of a fire shorted out.

The fire happened last Tuesday.

No one was in the school at the time because of a snow day.

The fire was contained to the art room.

But smoke damage in the hallways kept students out of school for the rest of the week.

Crews cleaned up all the smoke damage in the school.

Students returned this past Monday.

An engineer still needs to check out the art room to make sure it is structurally sound.

The district administrator says students will need to make up some of the time they missed.

School leaders still need to figure out how specifically students will make up those days.

Once they do, the process will start after winter break.

Story By: Lauren Stephenson
Photo By: Dale Heikkinen

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 LOCAL NEWS
Wisconsin faces $2.2 billion budget shortfall Submitted: 11/21/2014

MADISON - Governor Scott Walker's administration says Wisconsin faces a $2.2 billion budget shortfall by mid-2017, a problem that will have to be tackled by the Republican-controlled Legislature next year as Walker is building his resume for a potential presidential run.

The estimate released Thursday by the state Department of Administration is required under the law. It takes into account spending requests made by state agencies for the next two years.

The figures will be further refined by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January.

Walker will release his two-year state budget proposal either in late January or February.

Walker won re-election on the promise of cutting income and property taxes, a pledge that will be more difficult to achieve given the looming shortfall.

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Eagle River sees 91% milfoil reduction in chain; planners credit local commission & volunteersSubmitted: 11/20/2014

EAGLE RIVER - You can call the Eagle River Chain's invasive species project a success so far. Eurasian water milfoil has been reduced by 91.3 percent since 2007, but work isn't done.

Eddie Heath, aquatic ecologist for Onterra LLC has been working on the project. Onterra is the firm that does the planning for the Unified Lower Eagle River Chain of Lakes Commission. He say the success is above and beyond what they've seen on other lakes across the state, and it has served as a model for other systems.

"By which we learn from some mistakes, we build upon some successes, and we move forward in an adaptive management strategy," Heath said.

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Drs. Foster and Smith founder thinks company will stay in Rhinelander after being sold to PetcoSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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RHINELANDER - The national pet supply company Petco will buy one of the Northwoods' largest employers.

About 530 people work at Drs. Foster and Smith in Rhinelander.

Drs. Foster and Smith sells pet supplies online.

One of the company's founders doesn't think the company will move.

"I have no reason to believe they're [going to] leave Rhinelander," says Drs. Foster and Smith founder Race Foster. "Marty Smith and I actually talked to many prospective buyers. The one condition we put was it cannot leave Rhinelander at least in the foreseeable future."

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Drew's Piggly Wiggly welcoming new ownersSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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MERRILL - The Drew family will pass its Piggly Wiggly grocery store on to a new family soon.

Brothers Steve and Phil Drew own Drew's Piggly Wiggly in Merrill.

Their family has had a grocery store in Merrill since 1944.

They've owned the Piggly Wiggly for 25 years.

For the Drews, it's always been about family.

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 REGIONAL NEWS
Kenosha man charged in 11-month-old daughter's killingSubmitted: 11/20/2014

KENOSHA - A 34-year-old Kenosha man is charged with killing his 11-month-old daughter.

Russell Rose Jr. was charged Thursday with first-degree intentional homicide, aggravated battery, strangulation, arson and recklessly endangering safety. He is being held on $1 million bond.

Police say Rose was arrested Tuesday. Officers found the girl when they responded to a call in which a woman was screaming that someone had killed her baby. Police say the girl was severely bruised and her face was disfigured.

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DNR expect fewer donated deer this yearSubmitted: 11/20/2014

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NORTHWOODS - The Wisconsin Deer Donation program needs help from hunters this fall. The program lets hunters donate their deer to help feed those in need. Experts are concerned that the winter weather could cut into the number of deer kills this season. DNR managers think it will be difficult to find and hunt them.

"This year it's looking a little lean, especially in the north," said DNR Wildlife Biologist Jeremy Holtz. "With this deep snow, it's changed the deer behavior and it's going to change hunter behavior too. So I wouldn't be surprised if we saw that our donations were down this year under the circumstances."

Donating takes three simple steps: you register your kill, field dress the deer, and then you take it to a DNR approved processing center. The venison is then ground-up, frozen, and shipped to local pantries, as well as people in need. One meat market owner and program volunteer feels the impact of fewer deer.

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Wisconsin mom accused of damaging son's earsSubmitted: 11/20/2014

MILWAUKEE - A 26-year-old Fond du Lac woman is charged with felony child abuse after she was caught on video jamming cotton swabs into her son's ears, causing them to bleed.

According to the complaint, Jenna Schumacher took her 15-month-old son to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin for treatment of chronic ear bleeding and perforated eardrums.

The complaint says doctors found no medical reason for the ear injuries, but discovered a piece of a cotton swab in the boy's ear.

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Feds had fish shop in U.P. during undercover probeSubmitted: 11/20/2014

L'ANSE, MI - Agents working undercover ran a fish business in Michigan's Upper Peninsula while investigating illegal catches of lake trout.

The disclosure is in a document unsealed in Marquette federal court.

Since 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it's been investigating illegal catches of lake trout in the upper Great Lakes. The population has been affected by sea lampreys and excessive fishing.

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